As with many concerned consumers, a team of University of Oklahoma researchers wondered if the green color sometimes seen in bacon is, in fact, harmful to human health. Recently, these OU scientists took an important first step in answering this question by determining the structure of the green pigment responsible for this 'nitrite burn.' The research team led by George Richter-Addo and Jun Yi, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the OU College of Arts and Sciences, discovered that the green pigment seen in nitrite-cured bacon and other meats is due to an unusual chemical reaction of nitrites with the meat protein myoglobin. But more research is needed on the effects of 'nitrite burn, ' particularly on the physiological function of myoglobin and other proteins. "No one really knows if 'nitrite burn' is bad for you or not because there is so little information about the physiological effects on humans, " remarks Richter-Addo.
Using mathematical models, researchers in the Integrated Mathematical Oncology (IMO) program at Moffitt Cancer Center are focusing their research on the interaction between the tumor and its microenvironment and the "selective forces" in that microenvironment that play a role in the growth and evolution of cancer. According to Alexander R. A. Anderson, Ph.D., chair of the IMO, mathematical models can be useful tools for the study of cancer progression as related to understandings of tumor ecology. "Cancer is a complex disease driven by interactions between tumor cells and the tumor's microenvironment, " Anderson said. "By developing mathematical models that describe how tumors grow and respond to changes in their surroundings (such as treatment), we can better understand how an individual patient might respond to a whole suite of different therapies.
Nanotechnology, the manipulation of matter at the atomic and molecular scale to create materials with remarkably varied and new properties, is a rapidly expanding area of research with huge potential in many sectors, ranging from healthcare to construction and electronics. In medicine, it promises to revolutionize drug delivery, gene therapy, diagnostics, and many areas of research, development and clinical application. This article does not attempt to cover the whole field, but offers, by means of some examples, a few insights into how nanotechnology has the potential to change medicine, both in the research lab and clinically, while touching on some of the challenges and concerns that it raises. What is Nanotechnology? The prefix "nano" stems from the ancient Greek for "dwarf".
The combination of two inhibitors of protein mTOR stops the growth of primary liver cancer and destroys tumour cells, according to a study by researchers of the Group of Metabolism and Cancer at Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL). The study results are been published on the online edition of the journal Science Translational Medicine. Primary liver cancer or hepatocellular carcinoma is the fifth most common cancer and, due to its aggressiveness, is the third most deadly. It affects half a million people worldwide. Two of every three cases are related to chronic alcoholism, the exposure of toxic agents or infection with hepatitis B or C. The remaining third is related to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, a disease related to obesity. Promising candidates Currently, the antitumor sorafenib shows the better patient outcomes, but its effectiveness decreases over time.
Current nanomedicine research has focused on the delivery of established and novel therapeutics. But a UNC team is taking a different approach. They developed nanoparticle carriers to successfully deliver therapeutic doses of a cancer drug that had previously failed clinical development due to pharmacologic challenges. They reported their proof of principle findings in the early online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Wortmannin is a drug that was highly promising as a cancer drug, but its successful preclinical studies did not translate into clinical efficacy because of challenges such as high toxicity, low stability and low solubility (unable to be dissolved in blood). Andrew Z. Wang, MD, study senior author, says, "Drug development is a difficult and expensive process.